I get into various types of book mood swings, so when a book is difficult for me to finish, it’s usually a case of me not feeling it at the moment (or, you know, my attention span decided to pick up another book). That said, I do try to go back to the book and read it into its entirety, and sometimes I even start loving the book the second time I go back to it!
And then there are others where I just give up because there was really no point in continuing the story since I couldn’t bring myself to care or it was too disturbing or the writing was just not my cup of tea.
Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier – I absolutely loved Marillier’s Wildwood books (Wildwood Dancing and Cybele’s Secret) and so figured I should go ahead and try her Sevenwaters series because I knew a few friends who loved this series better. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to bring myself to continue, because halfway through I got way too traumatized and sad and every time I try to pick the book up again, I get into a funk where my brain refuses to retain anything I’ve read afterwards. So yeah, maybe I’ll try this book again at a later date, but I have to sadly put it to the side for now.
Inda by Sherwood Smith – There was a point in time where I had friends who raved about Sherwood Smith and how awesome her worldbuilding is. It probably is awesome. I got recommended Inda, and I tried to read it. For some reason, though, every time I try, I keep falling asleep. And it’s not because I’m tired, either. This book was just really difficult to get invested in for me. Maybe I should have tried Crown Duel instead.
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud – I like Bartimaeus. Who I didn’t like was Nathaniel. So the book was a hard read because I was only interested in reading up half of the story. That being said, I’m kind of glad I plowed on, because things do escalate and get better in the last bits of the story.
Enclave by Ann Aguirre – This one’s another one I couldn’t bring myself to finish. I loved Ann Aguirre’s short story in the Corsets & Clockwork anthology, which is probably why I picked up Enclave. That said, it was a pretty taxing read, and by the first few chapters, my attention span pretty much decided it didn’t care about any of the characters and whether or not they’d survive the zombie apocalypse. So I decided just to nope out of this one.
A Feast for Crows by G.R.R. Martin – I take my time with high fantasies usually, and when they’re as epically long as Martin’s, I tend to wander off and return to them on an occasional basis. That said, this book was probably the hardest to read of the A Song of Ice and Fire series I’ve read so far, mostly because Cersei Lannister’s viewpoint was just frelling annoying. I must have skipped a majority of them because her inner thought monologues were repetitive and infuriating. And she took up at least half the book.
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi – Lots of heavy material here, but that’s science fiction for ya! The book was a difficult read mostly because my mindset was not used to “hard” science fiction, and I still think the title character herself wasn’t really necessary for the plot (insomuch that another character could have taken her role and it would still have made sense).
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs – Again, another one where my mindset wasn’t used to long science fiction stories. This one was less difficult to read material-wise, but the style of writing did render my reading much slower than I’d anticipated.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel – This is where I’d actually admit that I found the movie much, much better than the book. I wasn’t too keen on reading about the adventures of Pi out in the ocean, and I might have dozed off a few times at the endless description and meandering that happened. The movie was fantastic, though.
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta – Once the first few chapters were out of the way, the book started to drag on and on for me. It also didn’t help that I had major problems with Evanjalin (and every time she did something silly–which she did a lot–I wanted to close the book and figuratively smack her in the face).
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay – I honestly can’t remember why this was difficult for me to read. I couldn’t even tell you about the plot, because I didn’t think much of it was very interesting. I do remember hating half the character POVs, so maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have much else of a recollection for this book.